Saturday, August 21, 2010

Nutshell Summer

*Shoutout to my baller friend Gary for helping me think of a post idea. I'm like a sad little dry well in the middle of the Kalahari when it comes to blog topics these days.*

This post is relatively straightforward. Unless I have a bunch of noobs reading my blog, which I don't think i do.

Since summer is now officially over, here is my summer in a nutshell. Be forewarned, my summer was not. very. exciting.

Phase 1:
The Not-Really-Summer-At-All Part of Summer

The spring school semester ends.
Everyone else starts raging and gallivanting and otherwise enjoying their summers.
I start a Maymester class 2 days later.
I realize Maymesters f***ing suck.
My townhouse floods. (there's a post for that....)
I realize my townhouse f***ing sucks.
I immediately start a Craigslist-fueled scavenger hunt for a new living situation.
I hit the Craigslist jackpot and find a lovely new pad with a sweetass new roommate.
I move in to said pad (which I lovingly call The Herm).
I pray that my hopefully-not-a-murderer new Craigslist bunkmate doesn't chop me up and store me in the walls.
Maymester ends. I ball out with my grades as usual and get an A.
My next summer class starts.
I almost fail said class due to complete and utter lack of interest and motivation.
That summer class ends.
My "failing" final grade ends up being a B+ because I'm awesome.
I get my first break from grad school in 13 months.
My actual summer begins.

my summer school did not involve Hawaiian leis, cool dogs wearing sunglasses, or Mark Harmons.

Phase 2:
The Southeast-Traveler-and-Superbum Part of Summer

I go to Atlanta to see my old college roommate at Emory.
I discover the asskick-in-a-can known as Four Loko. I drink it often.
I go to Charleston and Edisto with the Sister and the Suz.
I attempt to be in Columbia as little as humanly possible.
I basically live at my parents' house again and spend their money and eat all their Cheetoh puffs.
I chill with the doodles all day long.
I stay in bed till 1 in the afternoon approximately every other day.
I drink some more Four Loko.
I go to Atlanta to see aforementioned college roommate again.
I go days at a time where I only leave the house to get food or sometimes not at all.
I play 5+ hours straight of Wii Super Mario Brothers with my nephew on the REG.
My sister and I spend all of our time with each other because we apparently have no use for "friends" and get even weirder.
I discover Criminal Minds and do nothing but have Crim Minds episode DVD marathons for almost a month.
I develop a stalker-like obsession with Mathew Gray Gubler and get legitimately borderline depressed when I exhaust all of the episodes.
I drink some more Four Loko and eat some more Cheetoh puffs to console myself.

this is what superbum probably looks like.

Phase 3: The Edisto-Family-Vacation Part of Summer

The Townes clan heads down to Edisto for the annual shitshow that is our beach vacation.
We bring along some other extended family members and family friends.
We drink beers on the beach.
We drink beers on the balcony.
We discover that Edisto now has a "pub crawl," with all FOUR of the island's bars participating.
We participate in the pub crawl 2 different times.
Our parents kick our asses in beer pong even though they've "never played before."
Everyone gets sunburned.
I buy a cowboy hat.
I don't take off my cowboy hat for a week.
We take a daytrip to Savannah. (Fun fact! Savannah has no existing open container laws).
We watch Shark Week all week long.
Everyone is subsequently scared of the ocean.
Assholes near us on the beach fish and attract potential sharks to our swimming spot.
We talk a lot of shit on these assholes as we drink our beers.
We play a lot of Scattergories.
I get entirely too competitive for a board game and win most games of Scattergories.
Suz makes a crapload of margaritas.
The adults get drunker than the "kids", try to deny it, and it's hilarious.
Everyone is sad as another successful Edisto trip ends.

this is approximately what I envisioned every time I got in the water

Phase 4:
The Kinda-But-Also-Kinda-Not-Crappy-End Part of Summer

I get sad to leave Suz, Steve, the doodles, and my summer crash-pad in Greenville.
I go back to Columbia full time because school is starting.
My newly-confirmed-not-ax-murderer Craigslist roommate comes back from her summer job and I no longer have to live by myself in The Herm.
Ugly-as-sin pigeons nest all over our balcony in piles of their own shit.
We contemplate their murders.
We decide we can't kill the pigeons.
We buy fake owls from Wal-mart to scare the pigeons off.
We name the fake owls instead and put them in our living room.
Roommate and I discover awesome things we have in common like Mathew Gray Gubler and Crim Minds fetishes.
Fall Classes start.
I rediscover my hatred for having classes with undergrads.
After 2 days of class, many new TPYMIGS blog posts are inspired.
I get my high school assignments for this semester's student teaching and I am happy about them.
I start student teaching 2 days from now.
Many more blog posts will hopefully ensue.
Summer officially ends.

Eff school. Look out for some posts about the beginning of my high school student teaching experiences and some more "People You Meet in Grad School."


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Fitting Room Epiphanies: Part 2

Because I don't know exactly who is reading my blog at any given post, my disclaimer is this: I will be talking about bras and very bold bra fitting room attendants in this post. Just in case any males or family members or those who are prone to awkwardness wish not to proceed.

Her name was Martha.

I know this not because I asked her, or asked for her help in any way. She basically screamed this to me across the lingerie department as soon as my foot crossed the Dillard's threshold.

She seemed innocent enough. After all, Martha was pushing 80 and by all accounts looked like a frail little old person that you think will snap in half if you shake their hand too hard.

I didn't even go into the bra department on a mission or anything like that. I just thought, Hey, I could probably use another good bra. She didn't even give me time to get to a rack of Maidenforms before Martha was on me like flies on shit.

Are you looking for anything in particular?

Can I help you find a size?

By the way, sweetheart
(I hate when people call me sweetheart; strike one, Martha)......I'm a certified brassiere fitting specialist!

I had a couple of problems with Martha already after this first encounter.

1. She called me sweetheart. I get it, she's old, but it still kind of chaps my ass.

2. She used the word brassiere. Again, yes she's old, but come ON Martha. It's like I needed to coax her out of 1938 before we could move on.

3. What in the HELL requirements qualify an individual to be a "certified brassiere fitting specialist"? Having a tape measure in your hand at the time when you made your claim? Having seen a lot of boobs in your day because you're 200 years old? Having the name Martha and being the only employee currently working in the Dillard's "intimates" department?

I managed to shake her and meander around the racks for 15 minutes or so. I accumulated about 6 or 7 specimens and headed to the fitting rooms. (Which were very obviously located directly behind the register, but Martha still pointed them out to me and called them *her* fitting rooms.)

So there I am, in my horrendous fitting room. Flourescent lights, grimy moist-feeling department store carpet, not enough clothing hooks, check-check-check.

I heard a woman rustling around in the room next to me. Good, I thought. I hate being alone in public bathrooms and in fitting rooms. My irrational paranoia inevitably creeps in and taints my experiences in them.

I hadn't even tried on one bra when I heard Martha basically sprinting past my room to this poor woman next to me. Apparently she had not escaped into the fitting rooms Martha-free like I had. The following is an approximation of the conversation I heard going on between Martha and this doomed soul next to me.

Martha: Do you have it on? (she does not wait for a response) .....I'm coming in!

Martha: Oh now that is just beautiful! That is JUST... BEAUTIFUL! And those are perky! Oh and look at that nice tan you have! Did you just come back from the beach?

*various noises: the popping of bra straps, indistinguishable sounds coming from the woman, Martha's feet scuffling all about the dressing room, someone exclaiming "oops!", nervous laughter, etc.*

Woman: I don't know, this one doesn't really feel right.

Martha: Oh no! You just don't have your breasts in it correctly. You need to JIGGLE them!

You can use your imagination as to how the conversation continued after that. And it repeated itself over and over again. Martha would run scurrying from the fitting rooms, come back with new garments, and that poor woman would be back at square one.

Meanwhile, I've tried to stay as silent as I possibly can, contorting my body into bras so that the straps wouldn't snap and nothing would make noise and give me away.

But then my phone rang.

I could curse Steve Miller Band to hell for "The Joker" blasting out of my Blackberry at full volume at that particular moment. I would also curse the person who called me, but Suz is a saint and I would never do that. Plus, how could she possibly have known the crazytrain that was about to make its next stop in my dressing room?

The next 5 minutes went by in a blur.

Martha rapped on my fitting room door. Martha asked if I was doing okay. Martha did NOT wait for a reply. Martha is literally inside my fitting room with me. A tape measure appears out of nowhere. I am being felt up by an 80 year old woman. I am wrapped in her tape measure 4 different times. Martha gets to second base! Martha yells at me for wearing the wrong bra size "my whole life." Martha performs the "scooping" maneuver on me. I am scarred for life by Martha's scooping of my girls. Other "bra fitting" procedures occur.

Martha finally left my dressing room. I had been prodded, fondled, and measured by her. The last time I was so thoroughly investigated, I had just come out of the womb.

To my horror, Martha repeated this process with me, much like she had with my dressing room neighbor, for a solid 30 minutes.

I didn't sign up for this shit. I had innocently strolled into Dillard's for a casual perusal of the bra merchandise. I was beginning to wonder if I would ever escape this horrible woman.

But then I saw a shining, gleaming light at the end of the tunnel. My fitting room neighbor was ready to check out! And she was telling Martha that! And Martha was the only employee in this department! She would have to leave me unattended in the dressing room to go sell this woman her bra.

I heard them gather things up from the next room and make their way out of the fitting rooms. They were walking slowly enough, however, for Martha to shout a little "I'll be right back sweetheart!" in my direction as she passed.

From inside my fitting room, Martha's words repeated themselves in that slow motion, deep drawn out voice from the movies...... I'lllll....beeee.....riiiiiightttt....baaaacckk.....sweeeeetheaaaaartt..., followed by evil laughter and mental images of Martha with blood dripping from her tape measure and from the fangs she probably had flashing through my head.

As soon as they cleared the door to the fitting room, I got dressed faster than I ever have in my life. I grabbed my purse and crept out of my fitting room. I peered around the doorway. Martha was at the register with the woman, asking for her address.

I literally fled the scene.

I wasn't running, because I thought that would attract too much attention. Instead, it was a kind of speedwalk/hop/skip combination that got me the HELL out of Dillard's while Martha was preoccupied.

I had escaped.

And so it was discovered. There IS a fitting room experience that trumps bathing suit shopping. Next time I want a good feeling-up, I think I'll opt for a doctor's appointment.


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